The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) allows you to receive public healthcare when you are traveling. It is applicable in other countries of the European Economic Area and Switzerland. In some countries, you will need to pay after receiving medical treatment. Once back home, you can claim your refund.
Will you get a refund if you paid for medical treatments abroad?
Most of the time, your European Health Insurance Card will cover medical treatments. These will be free of charge. In some countries, you may be asked to pay the treatments upfront and to claim a refund when you are back home. Remember to keep all your invoices, receipts and paperwork as your insurance company will need them to refund you.
Some countries’ healthcare systems rely on patient co-payment. It means that the patients will need to pay a fraction of the public treatment they receive. If you receive treatment in one of these countries, you will need to pay the same amount a local resident of this country would pay. You are entitled to a refund in that case too, however, the patient contribution is non-refundable.
What does the European Health Insurance Card cover?
Please note that it is not allowed to travel to another country with the sole intention to receive medical treatment or to give birth. If that is the case, your EU Health Insurance Card will not cover the costs. The EHIC will cover the cost of medical treatments you receive if you are ill or have an accident while you are traveling.
If you suffer from a chronic or pre-existing medical condition due to an illness or an accident, your routine medical care will be covered by your EHIC while you are traveling.
The EHIC covers routine maternity care pre-delivery. The authorities forbid you to travel to a country with the intention to give birth. In that case, the EHIC will not cover the maternity costs. However, if you go into labor prematurely while you are traveling, the costs of all medical treatments for mother and baby will be covered.
Kidney dialysis and the provision of oxygen are covered by the EHIC. However, you will need to arrange these treatments prior to your trip. These treatments will be covered if they are received in a public hospital or clinic. You can talk to your GP or hospital for advice.
Travel Insurance and EHIC
To know more about the EHIC cover, please refer to our guide here. We recommend you to always carry your EHIC with you while abroad. Make sure it is up to date before leaving the country. And finally, a travel insurance policy will cover you when the EHIC does not. It is very easy to find an affordable policy from £15 per year. To find the best option for you, you can visit a price comparison website like this one >